Agriculture articles

IITA partners with Mastercard Foundation in Nigeria to implement Young Africa Works

  The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), through its Youth in Agribusiness office, is partnering with the Mastercard Foundation in Nigeria to implement the Young Africa Works strategy. The partnership aims to enable 242,724 young Nigerian women and men to build skills and secure dignified and fulfilling work opportunities in the agrifood value chain

Industrial agriculture receiving the bulk of Africa’s agricultural development funding 

Money flows in agricultural development are still reinforcing damaging industrial models in Africa, according to a new report by Biovision, IPES-Food and the UK-based Institute of Development Studies. The Money Flows report looks at investments in sub-Saharan Africa with a focus on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the biggest philanthropic investor in agri-development, Switzerland,

How BASICS is changing Nigeria’s cassava seed sector, creating seed entrepreneurs

Africa has grappled with the sustainable diffusion of improved cassava varieties due to a weak and uncoordinated dissemination strategy that has denied farmers improved varieties hence keeping production low. However, the project— Building an Economically Sustainable, Integrated Cassava Seed System (BASICS) has demonstrated that the cassava seeds system can be profitable for the players involved

Two decades on, Dr Stephen Mugo exits maize research

After long and distinguished service as a maize breeder and senior manager at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Stephen Mugo has retired from the organization. A Principal Scientist and Maize Breeder at CIMMYT’s Global Maize Program, Mugo also served as CIMMYT’s Country Representative for Kenya and CIMMYT’s Regional Representative for Africa. He

Battling devastating viral diseases, also in plants

When the maize lethal necrosis (MLN) outbreak happened in Kenya in 2011, scientists knew they needed to act fast. This viral disease, new to Kenya, was decimating maize fields. Within a few years, the viral disease spread rapidly in eastern Africa, through both insect vectors and contaminated seeds. If the virus were to spread into

Why a variety’s taste matters: looking beyond just yield and stress tolerance

Joshua Masinde The pursuit for higher and more stable yields, alongside better stress tolerance, has dominated maize breeding in Africa for a long time. Such attributes have been, and still are, essential in safeguarding the food security and livelihoods of smallholder farmers. However, other essential traits have not been the main priority of breeding strategies:

Enugu: Extension workers trained on improved agronomic practices, gender and weed control

Following the meeting with commissioners of agriculture last year, the Enugu state government has demonstrated its commitment to investing in weed control by organizing the first-ever training for extension workers on weed management in cassava and maize farming systems in the state.   The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) through the African Cassava Agronomy Initiative (ACAI)

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